I got home yesterday from watching my son graduate from Bootcamp. I was shocked to see a man standing in front of me. He had a confidence that I have not see before (he had plenty of cocky before). The ceremony was beautiful. I am so proud that my son worked hard and stuck to it and is now going to A school. I can not correctly describe the feels and emotions. Anyone reading my blog, encourage your SR. Tell them it is worth it. Navy Moms has been a blessing in helping me get through this. Now for my story.
We left at a ridiculously early flight to Chicago. I wanted to make sure we missed rush hour and could get our tickets in time. We went to pick up our tickets and my son's name was not on the list. The shock and horror that we spent all that money and he was not graduating! I remember that I did get the "I am a sailor" call. It took some time but they found; he was graduating and we were cleared, relief. Now to get our hotel room and food. We stayed at Days Inn. It was a good hotel, not fancy just basic with a free breakfast. I will admit that you could see areas that needed updating but it was clean, comfortable and did not smell. Good enough for me. I have stayed in expensive hotels and cheap hotels. I have found that as long as they are clean, comfortable and not smelly they are pretty much the same. We check in, put our bags in the room then went to eat. Across the street is a restaurant called Full Moon restaurant. The food was good and for the price way too much food for us. My husband said if he know how much food they gave he wouldn't have ordered. Then we took a nap before the Meet and Greet. We woke up to my alarm telling us to get ready for graduation, we slept through. I owe Sarge a huge apology. The next morning we left later than the Navy Moms suggested (I don't want to get into this) but by 615 we were on our way. We missed the first turn but thanks to GPS we were on our way. I was warned that because we were in a rental car our chances of getting search greatly increased, we were search. When got in the ceremony our section was pretty full but people are amazing and squished so we could sit there. Everyone was so friendly and nice. Most everyone knew each other from facebook.The ceremony was amazing. My son was able to check out before so we immediately left for a movie. All my son wanted was to see Avengers Infinity War, eat pizza and have ice cream. We pick up pizza at Giordano's. It was good pizza but I prefer not deep dish and think it weird to have the sauce on top. I am glad we took it back to the hotel because my son was in dress whites and it would not have been good with pizza. We forgot the ice cream but had a good time with my son. He gave he his flight information but gave the deer in the headlights looks when I asked which airport. He said "Chicago" I looked at him and asked but which one? Deer in the headlights. After we took him back to base; while trying to sleep I had a mini panic attack. Nuke Moms was very supportive but exhaustion won and I got some sleep. We woke up and left for Chicago O'hare by 3am. We knew where he was going, Which airline and when his shuttle left. We were determined to meet the buses and if he didn't get off we would rush to Midway. He got off the bus in O'Hare. I made the card with all the facts he needed to add but he didn't do it.. It was a FUN morning. The music started playing, I was sitting on the floor against the wall; then in comes the sailors. They dropped their bags all around me, I was stuck. They eventually moved them; I found my son. We went through security and was hungry. My husband left me on the lower level because I didn't want to walk anymore. My son, daughter and husband all wound up on the other side of security, I had my husbands gate pass. We finally all met up at the gate about 30 minutes before my son boarded. I had 45 minutes of time with my son all by myself. Since we planned to spend all day at the airport and it was only 8am. We took a nap and went to Milwaukee.
I am so proud of my son. He told me when he was 16 he wanted to join the Navy and I said encouraging words but in my mind I thought no way. He lost 57 pounds to get accepted. He has lost a total of 61. He has muscles and firm when he was soft and squishy. As he watched tv and ate pizza in the hotel room; I looked at him and saw a man. The first time I saw a man not my little boy or baby. I took my breath away. He has changed so much in the last few years but these last few months especially. He went from trying to figure out how far he could push the rules and boundaries to getting mad at the others for not following orders. He kept checking to see if his hat was on correct. He was upset to see other sailors in the mall without their hats and raincoat or hats on their head. All my years of pushing him and yelling at him as paid off. The military had it easy; he just had to realize that I was right. I can't wait to see where he goes from here.